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Here's What to Consider When Shopping for Health Insurance

Updated: Aug 18, 2023

If you are new to the dizzying world of health insurance or considering a new plan, you may be confused by how the Affordable Health Care Act impacts your choices. Below are a few factors to consider when shopping for health insurance and creating a choice that's best for you:

  1. The costs for most premiums are expected to rise about six or seven percent. This is roughly the amount that it has been rising over the last few years. Coverage for dependents is increasing because of the part of the law that allows dependents up to age 26 to be covered under their parents' health care plan.

  2. While benefit costs will rise, what you receive for that will decrease. For example, some companies are lowering dependent subsidies, raising co-insurance rates and actually phasing out benefits. The bottom line is that everything that a carrier is allowed to legally change is fair game.

  3. There will be more focus on wellness programs and incentives for pursuing a healthy lifestyle. For example, employees who complete a biometric screening may receive an incentive for doing so. Other incentives may be tied to improvement of health risks like obesity, high blood pressure or smoking. Some of the largest employers also offer "rebates" for employees who partake in healthy lifestyle choices.

  4. There is a movement toward account based plans. These could include health reimbursement or health savings accounts. The way these work is that the employees keep a normal health plan but have a higher deductible and pay for their out-of-pocket expenses from a separate employer generated account. Another trend gaining some momentum is toward defined contribution plans. This is where employees are provided funds each month that they can use toward a plan of their choice.

  5. The healthcare plan overhaul provides for more free preventive health benefits for women. These might include contraception counseling, breast-feeding support and supplies, HIV screens and annual wellness visits among others.

  6. The maximum pretax amount that people can set aside to pay for health care costs will be limited to $2,500. Prior to 2013, there was no cap although many employers set it at $5,000. However, the average contribution is about $1,600 so most people will not be affected by this.

  7. Selecting a plan will be more transparent and should be a little easier than in the past. For example, insurers need to give a common cheat sheet for consumers. This is to allow you to evaluate plans in an apple-to-apple situation. The information will offer a coherent summary of benefits and coverages. In the past, because each insurer's forms were different, this was difficult to do.

MBCR understands the challenges in receiving a medical bill and successfully resolving a health insurance claim issue. Learn more at

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